Christingle service lights up St. Mary’s

St Mary’s Christingle service was rather a surprise this morning.

Admittedly, as I entered the church it did look lovely and Christmassy with the huge, newly-decorated Christmas tree and the advent wreath of holly and candles – but where were the Christingles? From my childhood I remember reams and reams of oranges bedecked with candles and fruit lined up at the back of the church ready for us to pilfer. (One year I even managed to procure a Christingle for my doll as well as myself).

When Simon Harvey, our vicar, announced to the congregation that there were NO CHRISTINGLES I was ready to despair.  However, all was not lost...

Enter the ‘Christingle kits’!

Dozens of kits were distributed around the church to enable us to make our own Christingles – not just to the children but to adults as well.  Simon talked us through the process as we constructed our Christingles.

First the orange, to represent God’s world and everything good within it.  Next, the red ribbon, already taped around the oranges in our kits, to symbolise Jesus’ blood and the fact that he died for us so our sins can be forgiven and we can have eternal life with God.

The next step was a bit trickier.  We were instructed to take a candle and some tin foil and shove it into the orange, where slits had conveniently been pre cut.  Our thoughtful vicar had included a piece of kitchen towel to help us mop up the inevitable squirts of orange juice.  The candle reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world, shining in the darkness.

Then we stuck four cocktail sticks in our oranges and loaded them with grapes and sweeties (I got jelly babies and felt a bit mean about impaling them on cocktail sticks!)  These represented God’s gifts to us, including the fruits of the seasons – hence grapes.

Construction complete, we were all invited to process to the front of the church where our candles were lit and we sang a song together about Christingles.

Sounds fun? Why not join us for carols by candlelight next Sunday, 19th December, at 6pm which promises to be atmospheric and full of Christmas spirit.  Or come along to the morning service at 11am where you will be more than welcome.